Jury: Kevin Spacey did not molest Anthony Rapp in 1986

New York (AFP) – The jury has sided with Kevin Spacey On Thursday in a lawsuit that disrupted the movie star’s career, it was found that he had not sexually assaulted Anthony Rapp, who was 14, while both were relatively unknown actors in Broadway plays in 1986.

The verdict in the civil trial came at lightning speed. Jurors in federal court in New York He traded for a little over an hour before deciding that Rapp had not proven his claims.

When the verdict was read, Spacey dropped his head, then hugged his attorney. He did not speak to reporters as he left the courtroom.

“We are very grateful to the jury for seeing through these false allegations,” his attorney, Jennifer Keeler, said.

“The next step is for Mr. Spacey to be proven innocent of anything he is accused of. She added, referring to other allegations of sexual misconduct against the actor, including criminal charges in England.

During the trial, Rapp testified that Spacey had invited him to his apartment for a party, then approached him in a bedroom after the other guests had left. He said the actor, then 26, picked him up and laid him partially on top of him on a bed before wriggling away and running away while a drunken Spacey asked if he was sure he wanted to leave.

In his sometimes weeping testimony, Spacey told the jury It never happened, and he would never be attracted to a 14-year-old.

The lawsuit sought damages of $40 million.

Raab and his lawyers also left the courtroom without speaking to reporters. In his closing remarks to the jury on Thursday, Rapp’s attorney, Richard Stegman, accused Spacey of lying on the witness stand.

“It lacks credibility,” Stegmann said. “Sometimes the simple truth is best. The simple truth is that it happened.”

Rap, 50, and Spacey, 63, testified over several days in the three-week experiment.

Rap’s allegations, and those made by others, have caused a boycott of what was a career-high for the two-time Academy Award-winning actor, who lost his job on the Netflix series “House of Cards” and saw other opportunities drained. Rap is a regular on TV’s Star Trek: Discovery and was part of the original Broadway cast of “Rent”.

Spacey faced accusations in Massachusetts that he groped a man in a bar – allegations that prosecutors later dropped.

Three months earlier, he pleaded not guilty in London to sexually assaulting three men between 2004 and 2015 when he was artistic director at London’s Old Vic Theatre.

This summer, a Los Angeles judge approved an arbitrator order ordering Spacey to pay $30.9 million to the makers of “House of Cards” for violating his contract by sexually harassing crew members.

The Associated Press does not usually cite people alleging sexual assault unless they come forward in public, as did Rapp.

At trial, Spacey testified that he was certain the meeting with Rapp never happened, in part because he lived in a studio apartment rather than the one-bedroom Rappe mentioned, and had no gathering other than a housewarming party.

“I knew I would have no sexual interest in Anthony Rapp or any child. I knew,” he told the jurors.

During her closing arguments to the jury, Keeler suggested reasons to imagine or fabricate Rap’s confrontation with Spacey.

She said that rap could have been invented based on his experience performing in the play “Precious Sons”, in which actor Ed Harris picks up a rap character and puts it on top of him, thinking that he is her husband for a while before discovering that she is his son.

She also noted that Rapp was later jealous that Spacey became a big star while Rapp had “smaller roles in small shows” after his stellar performance on “Rent” on Broadway.

“Fame didn’t follow him,” Keeler said. “Mr. Rap ​​coach has turned into a pumpkin.”

“We’re here today and Mr. Rapp is getting more attention from this trial than he has been in his entire acting career,” Keeler said. She said that Rapp is now known because he removed one of Hollywood’s biggest actors.

Within two days of his testimony, Spacey lamented a 2017 statement he made when Rapp first appeared in public, in which he said he didn’t remember the meeting, but if it did “I owe him the most sincere apology for what could have been a profound” drunken behavior Decent “.

Covering his eyes with a tissue, Spacey said he was pressured by publicists and lawyers to issue a statement of sympathy at a time when the #MeToo movement has made everyone in the industry nervous.

“I learned a lesson,” he said, “which is to never apologize for something you didn’t do.”

He also cried because he said he regretted revealing publicly that he was gay on the same day that Rapper’s accusations surfaced because some interpreted his announcement as an attempt to change the subject or deviate from what Rappe revealed.

Spacey testified that at trial he spoke about deeply personal matters, telling the jury that his father was a white supremacist and a neo-Nazi who scolded him for being gay because he loved the theater.

Spacey also gave courtroom audiences a brief taste of his acting branch when he imitated Broadway actor at the time, Jack Lemon. He had earlier testified that his ability to make impressions helped him in his acting career.

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This story has been updated to correct the day of the week in the opening paragraph to Thursday, not Tuesday.

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